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Ian Bartle

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Ian Bache, Ian Bartle and Matthew Flinders

This chapter considers the origins, development and key debates in multi-level governance (MLG). It argues that despite evolving as a core concept within and beyond academe MLG remains an under-developed concept. To some degree this reflects the increasingly fluid governance processes it seeks to acknowledge and interrogate, but also points to the need for greater precision and rigour in the different types of MLG that combine in complex webs of modern governance. In particular we raise questions about the suitability for the analysis of contemporary governance of a binary formulation that has arisen to conceptualize different types of MLG. We see much overlapping, interconnection and blurring of the lines dividing the two types. A finer grain is required within each of the two types and between and beyond them in order to conceptualize variety and interconnectedness.